No one knows the pitfalls of going without health insurance better than the physicians who treat uninsured patients, but some of those very doctors are so frustrated with America's healthcare system that they're abandoning their own insurance coverage, according to a Bloomberg report.
Here are five reasons physicians are foregoing health insurance.
1. Brian Falkner, DO, an emergency room physician in New Orleans, is one of 4,000-plus Americans who answered a recent Bloomberg News survey about living without health insurance. Dr. Falkner, who is 40 years old, has a wife and a 9-year-old child who remained uninsured after they lost their ACA marketplace plan in 2017.
2. Dr. Falkner said the amount his family is spending on physician appointments and prescriptions this year is well below the $1,200 they were paying each month in health insurance premiums.
3. For Brad Why, 49, a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Delaware, cost wasn't the only reason he dropped his family's insurance policy. He told Bloomberg he had "pretty significant disrespect" for health insurers. He said they're "dictating who is getting what, how much they're getting, putting limits on the care that you receive and the medication that can be prescribed. I just don't want to pay them anymore."
4. The nurse practitioner also said providers will often agree on a price with uninsured patients for less than a typical co-pay. He pockets the $1,800 he saves each month on premiums, for a plan that had a $13,000 deductible.
5. Another ER physician, Nemat Dadfar, DO, in San Antonio, said he understands the risk he is taking on by forgoing insurance. The 39-year-old said he ditched his health plan after frustrating experiences with billing paperwork and reimbursements at work.
"I just want to be able to do my job, and do it well, and take care of patients. What I've found is that the system is designed to prevent you from doing it," he told Bloomberg.
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